It seems like we learned so many things in high school that have not been carried over in any sort of meaningful capacity later in life. Thank goodness for the in depth analysis of Metamorphosis in junior year. I can now describe something as Kafkaesque and sound about ten times smarter than I really am, but what about the important adult problems that suddenly hit you like the piano inevitably falling from the rooftops in The Three Stooges? One piano moment I had in my adult life? The consequences of traffic citations. It is almost a guarantee that at some point in your life you’re going to get a speeding ticket, but what happens if you get multiple tickets in a short amount of time? Just a bunch of fines for you to pay, right? Wrong.
Montana has a specific point schedule for each traffic violation you are convicted of. No insurance? Expired registration? Careless driving? These seemingly innocuous tickets add up fast, and should you receive 30 points worth of citations within a few years of each other, there are even more dire consequences. See Mont. Code Ann. 61-11-203. You can be deemed a habitual offender and lose your license for a significant span of time.
But let’s look at a slightly different scenario. Say your habitual offender status was created in another state. If you are pulled over in Montana, the officer may cite you for Driving While Suspended or Revoked, and he can also cite you for driving while declared a Habitual Offender. Both of these citations put your license at risk of suspension for an even lengthier time period, but only one of those tickets can actually be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Montana Code Annotated language makes it very clear that the only habitual offender status they are willing to recognize is one that was created in this state. See Mont. Code Ann. 61-11-213. The prosecution may attempt to introduce your certified driving record from another state confirming that you are declared as a habitual offender in that other state, but through careful scrutiny, it can be found that this is not enough for a habitual offender conviction in the state of Montana. Are you facing a mountain of tickets which could prevent you from being able to even drive yourself to work? Contact the attorneys at Bryan, DiStefano & Mattingley, PLLP today. We have helped countless drivers get back on the road.